Hi there, this is Hugo Cornejo. I’m taking bookings for casual AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions at tech companies.
I’m relatively well known in the London startup ecosystem because of my work as part of the founding team at Monzo (2015 to 2021) where I went from being their only designer to building and leading a team of 30 people as VP of Design.
During my 6 years there, the company grew from just a dozen people in a coworking space to a team of almost 2,000 staff serving 5 million customers so I got to experience and learn about the many challenges and pains that come with scale, success and big expectations. Oh, and I’m also the author of the neon Monzo hot-coral card, which I hope at some point makes it to the Design Museum collection or something.
Last year I left Monzo to start Packfleet, a high quality courier for independent businesses with colourful electric vans driven by lovely and fairly paid drivers. It’s still an early-stage startup but we have good ethics, good tech and are growing pretty fast.
Quite often I get requests from people who have heard about me or seen me at a conference and ask me to visit and give a talk to their teams for some external inspiration. I used to politely decline because I didn’t want to tour an old talk nor had the time to write a new one. But then I found a middle-ground solution and started to offer group chats using the AMA format instead, and as it turns out they went pretty well.
Well, I like to talk and feel listened to so I guess that’s a big driver on its own. Aside from my ego, I love helping people avoid the same mistakes I’ve made. This is also a great opportunity for me to get to know new people, learn how other companies do things, discover what’s out there and find some personal growth in the process… It's mostly about getting more Twitter followers though.
Well, no. I obviously won’t share any details about customers, team members or private company stuff. So if you’re after some Monzo secrets then the AMA is 100% not for you. This is to chat about how to build a great product, hire well, how to level up and promote people, ask about pitfalls to avoid, learn how to foster a good company culture, etc. Does that make sense?
Hard to tell because people tend to be too nice when you ask them for feedback but so far everybody seemed satisfied, here are some quotes…
“Hugo managed to have our team in stitches within minutes. But more than that, the conversation created a real shift in how we think about building teams and products and has had a lasting impact.”
“Hugo’s perspectives were awesome and refreshing. He isn’t afraid to share, and it was great to hear about the successes and failures of launching a new product, and learn from the best. It was an energising session, and a privilege to connect with someone who is open to sharing his wisdom on how to rapidly scale a product in a new market.”
“Definitely agree to not recording the AMA, it’s totally worth it!”
I ask for a minimum of £500 for a one hour session over video (no recording please) or in person in London if appropriate. All profits go to charity (your pick, Unicef or Greenpeace) and you folks get to make the donation directly so I hope you donate as much as you’re comfortable with.
Brilliant, send me an email and we’ll take it from there.